2014-11-06 - An Earnest
Matthew 28:20b " and lo, I am with you even to the end of the age."
Paul recounts what may have been this promise in his letter to the Hebrews 13:5 as "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." On those hard days here you feel like you were completely abandoned and helpless we can know that we have been promised that God is standing with us. Last December I lost a dear friend to cancer just before Christmas. The first few days were crowded by shock and disbelief. The funeral was held in a church decorated for Christmas and packed with more than 200 people whose lives my friend had touched. As her life was remembered with many stories God was there bringing back memories of my friend's faith and gracious, giving and unflinching spirit.
That was an earnest given to us all that morning. As her life was recounted and stories brought back memories sadness was pushed aside by the joyful knowledge that God's promises are Yes, and amen (2 Cor 1:20). An earnest is "a portion of something, given or done in advance as a pledge of the remainder". 1 We who know Christ as Savior were promised that morning that we would meet again in a reunion beyond our moral understanding - with friends, family and Jesus Himself.
There is a saying - Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes He calms His child. The storm may rage on around us. Beyond feelings of loss, anger and hurt struggling to stand know that He is there. This past week there were 300 Christians killed in a village in Iraq. Where was Christ in their moment of need? He was standing there with them. He was encouraging them to stand firm in their faith, and to be a witness to those who held the weapons that their faith in Christ was worth their mortal lives including the lives of there children who stood there too.
Jesus stood with them as He stands with us. Hold fast to His promises. Stand for Him in the storm as He stands with you and with me.
Lord Jesus - With eyes rimmed with tears I hold with joy to your promise that my friend and those martyred in Iraq are home and safe with You. We hold fast to the promise that You are with always with us in all circumstances. Light our path on the narrow way. Amen.
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.